Global international higher education event comes to Scotland

Professor Andrea Nolan (Universities Scotland International Committee Convener and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University)

SOME 400 higher education leaders from around the world will debate the future of international higher education at an event in Edinburgh this week. 

Going Global, organised by the British Council, will focus on the increasing demand across the world for higher and further education.

The event will address how the sector can better tackle global and national challenges and help empower lower socio-economic groups, women, disabled learners and students from certain ethnic groups or communities into education.

The annual event provides opportunities for leaders in international education to connect, share knowledge, find solutions to global issues and foster the future of further and higher education.

The conference, taking place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre from Monday 20 to Wednesday 22 November, consists of a series of sessions based around a theme. This year’s focus is ‘Towards sustainable, scalable and equitable partnerships in tertiary education.’

Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan MP, will take part in the opening talk from 2pm on Monday 20 November alongside British Council Chief Executive Scott McDonald; Maddalaine Ansell, Director Education, British Council, UK; Professor Dame Sally Mapstone, President, Universities UK; Olanike Adeyemo, Professor of Health and Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; and Simon Marginson, Professor of Higher Education Department of Education, University of Oxford.  

Maddalaine Ansell, Director Education, British Council, said: “Going Global aims to shape the future of further and higher education. It provides a strategic forum for leaders in international education to connect and share the latest thinking on the most important issues in international education.

“Across the world, students and their families want to fulfil their potential, education providers want to internationalise and raise standards, and governments need access to higher-level skills to grow their economies and play their part in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Going Global aims to provide solutions to these issues.”

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “British universities are among the best in the world, and it’s a privilege to speak to so many of our education leaders and international counterparts at this conference. International collaboration plays such a vital role in helping unlock opportunities for learners, giving businesses the skills they need to grow, and tackling global challenges like sustainability and discrimination.”

Minister for Higher Education and Further Education Graeme Dey MSP said: “Scotland is an outward looking country with an international focus and I hope this event helps showcase our tertiary education. International students and researchers make an important and valuable contribution to the Scottish economy, our educational environment and Scottish society. We hosted over 83,000 international students in 2021/22. We remain committed to strengthening our international links by supporting the attraction of international students and staff, highlighted by our commitment to a new International Education Strategy.”

Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE, President of Universities UK (UUK) and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews said: “Going to university can transform the lives of individuals, and it is important that we help more students across the world reap the rewards of a university education. Universities are stronger when they work alongside their international partners to find solutions to shared challenges, and some goals, such as tackling global barriers to accessing higher education, simply cannot be achieved without building these partnerships.”

Professor Andrea Nolan, Universities Scotland International Committee Convener and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University said: “I’m delighted that Edinburgh is hosting Going Global this year; there is strong alignment between the overarching theme of the conference and Scotland’s open, welcoming and inclusive values. Our universities too value the richness of the experiences and diverse perspectives from around the world. This is a great opportunity to showcase the social and economic impact of international partnerships forged by the university sector, the British Council, and the Scottish Government.

“We will continue to work with our partners to create opportunities for our communities of students and staff as well as tackling shared societal, economic, and cultural challenges, as articulated in the UN sustainable development goals. With constructive collaboration we can continue to enhance Higher Education opportunities in Scotland and globally.”

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